The women of the Oxford University student rugby team have stripped off for a 2016 calendar ahead of the Varsity match next month.
He was due to give next month’s Varsity match some badly-needed exposure given the annual clash between the universities Oxford and Cambridge at Twickenham has lost some of its lustre in the professional rugby era.
But Cambridge medical student and Welsh rugby star Jamie Roberts just might have been upstaged by the Oxford University women’s team, who have stripped off for a naked calendar in 13 different rugby-related poses to raise money for charity.
Roberts, who will turn out for the Light Blues against Oxford on December 10 at HQ, the first time he has played at Twickenham since the heartbreaking Rugby World Cup quarter-final defeat to the Springboks, made headline news when it was announced his much heralded signing for Aviva Premuiership Harlequins would take in a continuation of his medical studies at Cambridge.
Though now it seems the women students of arch rivals Oxford are the ones to set pulses racing as clad in just rugby socks and boots, shots show members of the squad, which include a number of Welsh players, training in the nude going through lineout drills, passing, pad work and the art of bringing down an opponent with a textbook tackle.
The calendar, will help to raise money for Beat, a charity supporting anyone affected by eating disorders or difficulties with food, weight, and shape.
Captain Carly Bliss admitted it was a great day for her and her team-mates, who had to keep nipping inside to warm up in between shots.
“The majority of the team had never considered doing a naked calendar before but it was obvious that everyone was really keen to give it a go,” she said.
“The Women’s Varsity Match has 27 years of history and I believe playing alongside the Men’s Varsity Match at Twickenham Stadium this the rightful place for this esteemed match.”
Oxford University Women’s Rugby President Helen Lamb added: “Beat is a fantastic charity and is the UK’s leading charity supporting anyone affected by eating disorders.
“The message that Beat promotes really fits with the positive body image and confidence that we promote at OURFC Women. Our calendar highlights the variety of women that play rugby and we hope it will encourage and inspire more women to try out rugby. We have not used any photoshopping in the calendar to enhance the girls’ bodies aesthetically to emphasise that these are real rugby players who simply enjoy playing rugby.”
The calendars, which cost £12 for members of the public and £10 for university members, are on sale online and provide he perfecting stocking filler for Christmas.
The women’s Varsity Match will be staged at Twickenham the same day as the men with their meeting kicking off at 11.30am while Roberts and Co do battle with their Oxford counterparts three hours later.
Author: Anthony Woolford